I did it... I survived Big Oak Ranch! Last week's day camp was intense, amazing, and exhausting. The weekend was just as busy, so today is my day to sleep, relax and recharge.
At Big Oak Ranch, my job was 'crew leader' (counselor) for the "Purple Longhorns" (5th & 6th graders). Honestly, I had not been looking forward to this week because children's ministry is not , I repeat not, my calling. But, I wanted to get to know the incoming 6th graders (& invite them to the junior high program), work alongside Gary, and help meet the need for more workers. Praise God, He totally blessed me this week with a great assistant (Jacob Roth) and awesome kids, and together we really had a ton of fun.
The schedule worked out really well. There were a number of stations set up, and we leaders would rotate our group through the stations. This meant we didn't have to prepare any lessons, set up any crafts, etc, just get our kids to the right place at the right time, and encourage them to get involved. The station leaders all did a phenomenal job, and made everything fun and engaging for the kids. Go, team!
The highlight of the week was when one of the girls in Gary's group prayed to receive Christ! She'll be going in to Junior High school next year, and just so happens to live on the same street as our other Junior High leaders. They already know her and her family... awesome! Please pray that her family will support her in her decision to become a Christian.
Sunday was our 'finale'... we invited all the families to church, put the kids on stage to demonstrate their songs and activities, then concluded with a free BBQ lunch under the Big Oak tree.
Looking back on the week, I believe the one area for 'improvement', if you could call it that, would be to do a better job at reaching out to some of the needier families in the area that don't already have a church home.
This reflects the area of growth in our church body as a whole... we have a ton of folks coming in from all over Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, even Antioch and Pittsburg, but very few from the immediate neighborhood. Something to work on for next year... All in all, though, I believe the week went very well. The kids had a great time, the schedules ran smoothly, the junior leaders really came through, and God was honored! I'd definitely do it again!